Backup And Disaster Recovery Plans
Backups are central to the ability to recover from a disaster and there are important points to remember when considering a backup plan.
Security of backup data and backup locations
The most important detail when it comes to backup storage, is security.
Backing up to a USB hard disk may be easy, but what is the point if your computer is infected by cryptolocker and your whole backup is encrypted? Rotating disks and doing a full back up each time would however prevent this scenario.
Backup to secured network attached storage is a good option, but make sure that it is secured by a password known only to the backup software.
Tape rotation is also a good option since tapes are generally only accessible by the backup software.
Of course physical security remains important. If someone can pick up your backup device and walk off with it this is also a problem to be considered.
Cloud backups are a good option when it comes to security, but the problem with cloud backups is the length of time it takes to restore a full data set. If your company has a couple of terabytes of data, restoring it from a cloud backup will take some time.
Every business set-up is different and requires different solutions to target individual requirements. PBIT can help you with your backup and disaster recovery plan which will structure the best solution for your business. Call us to discuss your options [ph #]
What to back up
When considering what needs to be backed up, the answer is not always obvious. Most businesses nowadays rely heavily on emails, both for day to day business and as a history of past communications and so it is important to include this in your backup plan.
SQL type databases are always open and so either an agent is required to back up the database or software which is able to “snapshot” the database.
Standard data, like documents, picture and videos are what people generally want to include in their backup and sometime forget about the other important components of their computer, network or storage.
Last but not least is a system backup. I lot of important data is included in the operating system of servers. There may be active directory data, DNS, DHCP, DFS and other services that are all important in a business network that may need to be restored in the case of a disaster.
Types of backup
There are three different type of backup. They are Full backup, Differential backup and incremental backups.
A full backup is as it says, a full backup of all the data. For obvious reasons this type of backup takes the longest. This is the quickest to restore from but also takes up the most space.
A differential backup is a backup of all data added or modified since the last full backup. It uses less space and takes a bit longer than an incremental backup. When restoring only the last differential containing the required data and the full backup are used.
An incremental backup is a backup of all data that has been added or modified since the last full or incremental backup. It uses the least space and takes the least amount of time to run. When restoring from an incremental backup, all backups are accessed up to the backup containing the data to be restored. This means that one missing or corrupt incremental backup in the line could prevent a restore.
Deciding which is appropriate for the situation requires some thought.
When it comes to backup software, they are not all the same. Below are important points to take into account when deciding on which software you are going to use. As with Anti-Virus software in most cases you get what you pay for.
- Automation – It is important the backups can be automated and scheduled
- Backup targets – You will need to find out what you can backup to when using specific backup software. You will normally want something that supports a few options. The main options include:
– USB attached storage
– Tape drive
- Reporting and alerting – It is important that the software can send you reports and alerts. There is no point in having an automated system which is failing and you only find out when you need to restore your data that you have no backup.
- Some backup software will save your system backup in an image file which can be directly mounted with Virtual hosts. This may be very handy when time is of the essence and you need to get up and running again in the shortest possible time.